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Why ball turns when rotated after being kicked.

  1. Sep 15, 2008 #1
    I have an unsolved question of an exam of my University.
    The question is why a ball turns, when somebody kicks it by making it to rotate to itself.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2008 #2
    lol, doesnt really make sense. If you kick a ball head on ie perpendicular to the ball, then the ball will not spin. Unless there is unequal amounts of drag acting on either side, which is not really possible. The reason why a ball will spin is that the foot does not hit perpendicular to the surface and so give the ball some angular momentum.
  4. Sep 15, 2008 #3


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    That does not even answer the question. The question was, why a spinning ball turns in flight like commonly seen in table tennis or banana kicks.

    This is usually attributed to the Magnus effect, which is caused by the airflow, which has a different velocity compared to the center of the ball at both sides of the turning ball. However this also depends on some characteristics of the ball.

    It is also described here: http://www.soccerballworld.com/Physics.htm
  5. Sep 15, 2008 #4


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  6. Sep 16, 2008 #5
    Thank you very much!
  7. Sep 16, 2008 #6


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    Interesting side note (at least, I hope it's interesting):

    On Mars, the ball would curve http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_curveballs_030221.html" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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